It’s British Science Week! Who’s Talking About Space?13th Mar 2023
From 10th to 19th March, the United Kingdom comes together to celebrate all things science, including technology, engineering, and maths. The ten-day celebration is managed by the British Science Association, and encourages companies, schools, and organisations to run events or activities to get the conversation going about science.
According to the association:
“British Science Week provides a platform to stimulate and support teachers, STEM professionals, science communicators and the general public to produce and participate in STEM events and activities”.
British Science Week – this year’s theme
Announced last May, the theme for British Science Week in 2023 is ‘Connections’. The hope is that the events will highlight the importance of science, and encourage young people to explore their connection with science.
The British Science Association in 2022 surveyed 2,000 14-to-18 year olds on their views of science, and the results displayed a bleak picture of how science is being taught to young people. Only 34% of the respondents think science is relevant to their life. Further, only 8% of the participants could think of a scientist who looks like them.
Who is celebrating space this week?
While there are many topics to celebrate and educate about during this week, space is a popular one. Let’s take a look at some organisations, companies and agencies who are talking about the Cosmos.
First and foremost, the UK Space Agency is plugging all of it’s space endeavours on Twitter to mark British Science Week. It’s thread on the website highlights some of the biggest upcoming events, such as the JUICE launch to study Jupiter’s moons, the Biomass satellite set to launch next year to study the world’s forests and their changes, and much more.
The Science Museum, a popular exhibition site in the UK showcasing science collections from across the globe, has partnered with Blue Origin owned Club For Future, a company that sends postcards to space. According to the company, anyone can write or draw on a postcard that will be launched to space and back on a New Shepard rocket, and return with a ‘Flown to Space’ stamp.
As part of the collaboration, local schools have entered their designs for an interplanetary post box, and the winner will have theirs turned into a life sized one. The winner was announced on 13th March.
The National Science and Media Museum based in Bradford aims to explore the science and culture of image and sound technologies, and their impact on human lives. To celebrate this British Science Week, the museum is hosting a free event on Saturday, 18th March, to explore the wonders of space though hands-on activities, sensory activities, gaming-themed crafts, storytelling and more.
Even gamers can enjoy the event, by creating a mini space station using techniques from paper to PC, the museum says.
A popular app used by educators, called Teacher Tapp, is celebrating by sharing that space is the most popular topic that science teachers would like to add to their KS4 curriculum. The app, which was formed in 2017, gives a voice to teachers to share their thoughts on things that happen in the classroom, and the resulting data is used to make media, government and education businesses hear what they have to say.
In January, the Teacher Tapp asked science teachers what topic they would like to add more of into their classroom, and the top answer was space. 31% of surveyors said space, while only 4% said Environmental Science, and 2% said Introduction to Quantum Physics.
There are many more events and activities happening across the UK to celebrate science. See here for more information.